15 vs 20 amp circuits

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Chris Lewis wrote:

Not really, since there aren't any consumer countertop appliances that draw more than 15A. I much prefer having more outlets available as in "quads" and multiple circuits to each quad. My current kitchen has four such "quads", and each is a separate 20A circuit, so I have 80A available to my countertops, and that doesn't count a built in microwave outlet that is on a 20A circuit shared only with the light / vent hood over the stove.

The high cost of GFCI breakers is a problem. I actually saw one installation where a guy installed a bank of GFCI receptacles right beside the main panel as the first device on each 120V circuit to provide the functionality of GFCI breakers. Looked funky, but probably saved him a couple hundred dollars.
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wrote:

That won't work for the kitchen or bathrooms ("no other ouitlets")
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

He could use the receptacle format receptacle-less GFCIs, which are also much cheaper than GFCI breakers.
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Pete C. wrote:

PC:
That would look extremely icky.
G P
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snipped-for-privacy@gannon.edu wrote:

Icky yes, but still could save a fair amount of money. If GFCI breakers were the ~$10 more than regular breakers that they logically should be, then it wouldn't be an issue.
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Who said anything about _one_ countertop appliance? With a Canadian split, you can run a 1200W toaster and 1200W electric kettle (or electric frypan or...) simultaneously on a single duplex receptacle. No need to install something as potentially "industrial looking" as a quad.

Minimum Canadian code (minimal counter length) was 60A (four 15A circuits arranged as two split duplex receptacles). Now it's 40A (two 20A unsplit receptacles).
[Not counting builtin microwave either - that's supposed to be a dedicated circuit, just like yours. Doesn't have to be 20A tho. Fridge, garburator, dishwasher each a dedicated circuit too. With some minor permissible addons (clocks etc). CEC is stricter on dedicated kitchen circuits than the NEC. Or at least it was.]

You can do the same trick with splits - remembering that the neutrals on the split have to be split too (four current carrying conductors into the box) - you have to split _both_ the neutral and hots on the line side of the GFCI outlet pair. But that starts to get obnoxious. When the kitchen gets reno'd, I _may_ splurge on dual GFCI breakers. And make 'em 20A while I'm at it ;-) Same as your quads, but in just one receptacle ;-)
--
Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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Chris Lewis wrote:

I like "industrial looking", and at any rate, it doesn't have to be a "quad", it can simply be another duplex a few feet away on a separate circuit.

It's not really a built in microwave, just a dedicated shelf space for a regular one. Fridge is indeed another separate 20A circuit. Disposal and dishwasher each share (separately) one of the 20A circuits feeding a "quad".

I like my quads, particularly with the fixed use items in my kitchen that take up outlets - wall wart for cat water fountain dish, wall wart for cordless phone base, and night light - there go three outlet spaces right there.
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They're required to be dedicated circuits here (DW officially, disposal "usually"), and you can't share kitchen counter outlets with anything else regardless.
The older "split receptacle" requirement was that you could put at most two split duplex receptacles on a dual breaker, you couldn't put the two split receptacles adjacent to each other on a counter, and every kitchen had to have at least two splits. Eg: on a short counter requiring two receptacles, they had to be different dual circuits. I assume they're doing the same thing with the new single 20A/GFCI version.


That's what "hexes" are for ;-) [6-way receptacle blocks that plug into a receptacle.]
They have the advantage of not being there if you don't need 'em. Most (all?) are even compatible with split duplex receptacles -> meaning three outlets each on two circuits.
--
Chris Lewis,

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So?
You're not sure how it works, but you're sure it's a "hinky solution." :-)
Actually, it's a perfectly fine solution.

How is having two circuits available at alternating receptacles any improvement over having two circuits available at *every* receptacle?
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

It's hinky in my book, and I wouldn't wire it that way.

It avoids having 240V on a device where most people expect only 120V. I'm fine with cycling through poles / phases box to box, but I don't like it within a single box in a residential application where joe bozo might mess with it. People blow things up with some regularity in industrial environments with three phase "wild leg" delta service, and in an industrial environment they're supposed to have a clue. Give joe bozo homeowner an unexpected red wire in the box and he's likely to blow stuff up too. I think it's an unnecessary risk in a residential environment.
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Fine, don't wire it that way -- but don't tell others it's a bad solution, just because you don't like/understand it.

So how, exactly, is that an issue? You can't plug a *single* device into both sockets of a duplex receptacle at once. Each socket has only 120V; that there is a 240V potential between the two hots is of no relevance whatever.

I'd love to hear your explanation of how this will "blow stuff up."
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

I understand it, and I recommend against using it in a residential environment for a good reason.

It has plenty of relevance. See below.

It has a decent potential to "blow stuff up", when Joe Bozo homeowner yanks on the vacuum cleaner cord, cracks the receptacle and goes to replace it. Joe Bozo homeowner who has no business being in the box to begin with and doesn't remember which wire went where. I've seen some pretty screwed up stuff like that and I see no good reason to add this risk when simply installing a separate box and outlet for the $2.50 will eliminate that risk.
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wrote:

That's not a problem with the solution, it's a problem with the problem - and Joe Bozo is the problem - split circuit or not he's got about a 90% chance of screwing something up.
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clare, at, snyder.on.ca wrote:

More voltage = more spectacular screw up.
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<clare at snyder.on.ca> wrote

I actually bought an old house and rewired it to my satisfaction, only to find that the previous owner, a knowledgeable individual IMO, had someone helping him (teenage son probly) who had wired outlets by pushing the wires into the little slots instead of the holes on those cheap push-in receptacles! I guess you'd call him Joe Bozo, Jr.

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Jim wrote:

That's probably better actually. It wouldn't have the sharp edge to keep the wire from pulling out, but it would have better contact pressure over a larger contact area.
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I've got a good one. I discovered, BEFORE I connected the power to the breaker box, that someone connected the 220V water heater by using 2 15A breakers. Really confused me when I had an extra breaker in the box.
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If Joe Bozo homeowner doesn't have enough sense to turn the breaker off before he sets about replacing the receptacle, and doesn't pay any attention to which wires go where -- there are much larger problems than having an Edison circuit in the box.

That's just nonsense. Having only 120V present in the box does nothing to eliminate the risk caused by homeowners who are stupid enough to work on live circuits without knowing what they're doing.
You're seeing the wrong problem here.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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I wouldn't expect to need to flip two breakers to kill a single outlet. I'd discover it because I check to see if the wires are hot after I flip a breaker and before I start messing around with things. A multimeter, neon tester or if all fails I short the wires I would rather have a shower of sparks than get 'bitten'.
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And you wouldn't need to, if the circuit was installed in compliance with the NEC -- which *requires* a double-pole breaker if both legs are connected to the same device.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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